Print Story Review: Blixco's Pork Recipe (Pueco Pibil)
By toxicfur (Sun Jun 18, 2006 at 03:05:30 PM EST) food, RFC, Recipe Fun Challenge (all tags)
A long time ago, blixco posted his pueco pibil recipe in the hole, in the midst of a flame war, as I recall. Yesterday, I put it together and let it marinate; today, we cooked it. Recipe and review within. (I won't be reposting the recipes for the stuff that's in my Recipe Fun Challenge diary; since this was in the hole and is now lost, though, it's reprinted below without the permission of the author). Also, I put some comments in italics in the recipe itself.

Overall, this recipe was excellent. The flavors melded well together, and the heat was there but not overwhelming. I'm sure we could've had the endorphin-rush special effect if I'd used a whole habanero instead of a half. I cut the recipe by about 1/4 since it would take us at least a month to eat 5 lbs of pork, and the proportions worked nicely. I served it with white rice and black beans (with tomatoes, chipotles, garlic, and onions).

There were two problems that were entirely my fault. (1) Since I divided the recipe by 4, I got a 1 1/2-pound pork loin instead of a 5-lb. pork butt. The resulting meat was a little dry, and I think the extra fat from the pork butt would've made a more moist dish. (2) This dish cooks in the oven for 4 hours. If I'd been thinking, I would've picked a day to make it that wasn't 95 degrees F. It got a bit toasty in the kitchen, so we moved our plates and beers to the card table in the living room to eat. I'm wondering if I could adapt the recipe to use on the grill, thus to avoid the extreme heat in my kitchen.

I rate this recipe a plum. Really, superbly tasty, though not something I'll eat every week. Perhaps once a month or so.

One bottle of Tequila
5 pounds pork butt cut into 2-inch cubes
5 Tbsp annatto seeds I couldn't find annatto seeds at either grocery store I went, but I didn't go try the Indian grocery store a town over. I substituted a bit of turmeric for color
2 Tsp. cumin seeds
1 Tbsp. whole black pepper
1/2 Tsp. whole cloves
8 whole allspice berries
2 habanero peppers, cleaned and chopped
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup white vinegar
8 garlic cloves
Juice of 5 lemons
2 Tbsp. salt

Preparation Instructions
Grind (in a spice grinder or mortar and pestel, not a coffee grinder for chrissakes). ana actually ground the spices in the mortar & pestel, though I usually use a coffee grinder for this sort of thing
Annatto seads
Cumin seeds

Habanero peppers
Orange juice
White vinegar
with spices from the grinder

Add the lemon juice. Add a shot of tequila. Then drink a shot. Then add, maybe one more shot. Then drink a few. Shots. More.

Put pork butt, cut into 2-inch cubes, with the marinade, in a large ziplock bag to soak.

Line an 8X13-ish baking pan with banana leaves. Pour in pork and marinade for at least four hours, at best overnight. Drink more tequila.

Cover with banana leaves and seal the pan with foil. Bake in a 325F degree oven for four hours. Finish the tequila in this time. I have to admit that I did not finish my bottle of tequila.

Helpful Hints
Banana leaves are optional, I didn't use them, but don't use any other leaves or corn husk. Scotch bonnets can be used in place of the habaneros. I thought these were the same thing, actually. Shows what I know. Use gloves when you handle those, or get some decent mechanics degreasing soap before you touch your privates. I made a special trip to the store for gloves. The tequila should be good, but doesn't have to be top shelf. I used Sauza, some kind of anejo. 'Twas good. You should have finished the bottle by now.

Cost: significantly less than $7700, significantly more than McDonald's. Was actually a most cost-effective meal.
Special effects: if you make this hot enough, it'll cause a flood of endorphins. I think the beer is causing enough endorphins tonight.

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Review: Blixco's Pork Recipe (Pueco Pibil) | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
my nick is ana by ana (2.00 / 0) #1 Sun Jun 18, 2006 at 03:09:08 PM EST
and i approve of this post.

Can you introspect out loud? --CRwM

I am glad by blixco (4.00 / 1) #2 Sun Jun 18, 2006 at 05:58:41 PM EST
y'all liked it.  It's one of my favs.
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
TOP TIP: by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #3 Sun Jun 18, 2006 at 06:50:49 PM EST
If perchance you find your cupboards bare of annatto seed, you may substitute 2 crushed licorice sticks for every Tbsp. of annatto in your recipe.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

where can you buy banana leaves? by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #4 Sun Jun 18, 2006 at 09:05:52 PM EST

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
From what I remember... by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #5 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 01:56:20 AM EST
blixco said he got his locally, like from a tree in his neighborhood. I didn't even know how to begin looking for them here, though.
Continue to lean until you feel gravity threatening to discipline you for being stupid. - CRwM
[ Parent ]
botanical garden by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #6 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 03:47:43 AM EST
at midnight...
Dance On, Gir!
[ Parent ]
From the tree by blixco (4.00 / 1) #9 Thu Jun 22, 2006 at 06:48:26 AM EST
in my front yard, actually.

But you can normally find them in hispanic groceries, some thai groceries, and most greehouses that sell tropical plants.
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

[ Parent ]
Any Hispanic food store by jimgon (4.00 / 1) #7 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 07:57:20 AM EST
worth it's salt will have banana leaves.  Even some chain stores will carry them if they target the Hispanic market.

Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
Those scotch bonnet peppers by skippy (4.00 / 1) #8 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 09:19:20 AM EST
can be rather mean.  I used them while cooking a stirfry once.  After finely chopping the pepper, I lightly rinsed my hands off under the tap and resumed cooking.  Later on for some odd reason I rubbed at my eyes.

AAAAAAAUGGGGHHHH!  Bloody hell that hurt!

Not to mention the fact that I was sweating while stirring the stirfry, simply from the amount of crazy pepper essence that was being given off in the steam.

Then I tried to eat the stirfry.  That wasn't a good idea either.

Review: Blixco's Pork Recipe (Pueco Pibil) | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback